Tennis Grid, 1983
The Rolex is so early oughts. These days it’s the Swatch– the sporty, kid-friendly 80’s staple– that’s making a comeback. A lot’s happened since the launch of the brand, and the a look back at some of the most popular prototypes–courtesy of the online retailer SwatchandBeyond– is like a lesson in pop culture history. One of Swatch’s first must-have designs was the Tennis Grid released during the heyday of Chris Evert.
Agatic Agatac, 1994
Designed by Agatha Ruiz De La Prada, this color block time-piece was one of the more popular artist commissioned pieces.
Atlanta Press, 1996
This super-accessorized watch was a special edition release in honor of the Atlanta Olympics.
By the ’90s the company extended their design features to the packaging. This limited edition Easter egg gadget looked better in the box than it did on your wrist.
Swatch Watch Chicchirichi, 1992
If the solitary egg case wasn’t enough for you, Massimo Giacon designed a 12 pack.
Crayonset Metrica, 1998
Remember this look, inspired by, well, a ruler? Before there was an App for taking measurements there was a wristband.
Follow Me, 1987
If Max Headroom had arms, he’d totally wear this watch designed by artist Mario Fani.
Modele Avec Personages, 1985
Of all the special edition artist-designed watches, Keith Haring’s contribution was the most famous. This original now goes for $1100.
Lots Of Dots, 1992
Alessandro Medini dreamed up this colorful, stippled version, with the brand-standard clear face overlay.
In the era when Panama Jack (and his army of Jams) ruled the world, swapping your swatch band was all the rage. At school you could sport a clear band to go with your new braces, and then when you hit the beach, you could snap on this little number.
Pink Large Guard
And then there were the Guards, designed to protect your not-so-scratch-proof watch-face. A big hit with pre-teens, it may have been because they looked just like a retainer.
Golden Jelly, 1990
A classic design in the family of the clear telephone and the clear alarm clock. With these see-through gems, young inventors could actually watch their watch working, how cool was that? Again, no iPhones.